A small but passionate crowd gathered in Farley Hall Friday in support of workers’ rights, specifically those at the Nissan plant in Canton. Among those gathered were a worker from the Canton plant named Morris Mock and renowned actor and activist Danny Glover.
After a brief introductory speech, Mock took his turn to address the group. Mock, a paint technician at the Canton plant and a direct Nissan employee, is frequently quoted in the media criticizing working conditions at the Nissan plant.
He stood, at first, in silence, his wrist held up to show everyone in attendance the white band he wore.
“This is worn in honor of a coworker named Derrick who passed away at the factory last year,” he said. “He died right there in front of everyone in the middle of a shift…and the line continued on, as always.”
Derrick Whiting collapsed at the Nissan plant on Sept. 22, 2015.
Mock paused, allowing his statement to sink in. Continuing on, he told cited incidents in which workers find themselves.
“Folks won’t even go to the doctor for a check-up because they’re so afraid of being fired,” Mock said.
After several closing notes about the importance of strength, unity and societal involvement, Mock thanked the audience for allowing his voice to be heard.
With a warm smile and easy pace, Glover took his place behind the podium. He spoke fervently on the importance of one’s journey in life and how his own had led him from “educators, actors, activists, academics and even organic intellectuals.”
Glover said an organic individual is one who learned through his own tenacity and experiences in the wake of what life throws at him.
“You, right now, have the opportunity to grow in this way. To learn from these Nissan workers,” Glover said. “Listen to them. Take a look at their journeys, and make them a part of yours.”
Glover’s words filled the room, invoking a cheer from the audience.
“The egregious situation in which these workers find themselves is unacceptable and atrocious,” Glover said in closing.